Caribbean News in Brief — April 8-2010

CREDIBILITY HURT

Castries, St. Lucia: The most senior Catholic cleric in the eastern Caribbean has said the archdiocese in the sub-region is taking steps to deal with any allegations of sexual abuse by priests.

Robert Rivas, who heads the Archdiocese of Castries, made his comments in response to questions about the scandal facing the Catholic Church.

His archdiocese includes St. Lucia and five neighbouring islands.

Archbishop Rivas said a review board had been put in place to investigate any allegations of abuse that may arise. He said the scandal has damaged the church.

“It has affected the image of priest, it has also undermined the credibility of the church and the leadership in the church,” said Rivas.

Archbishops and Cardinals across Europe apologized for the Catholic Church’s record on child abuse in their Easter messages. However, Pope Benedict XVI made no mention of the crisis.

ELECTION RUMOURS

Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago: Speculation is growing that a general election will take place next month.

Two weekends ago, Prime Minister Patrick Manning put the country on alert for an early general election.

But some political commentators have reacted with skepticism, suggesting Manning was simply engaging in political posturing.

However, political analysts say that Manning has shown he is serious about calling an election and could announce a date on Friday during a debate of an opposition motion of no confidence against him.

CONTINUING STRIKE

Havana, Cuba: Dissident Cuban hunger striker Guillermo Farinas has vowed again to continue his protest until he dies, if necessary.

Farinas was speaking in response to comments made by President Raul Castro, who said his government would not accede to “blackmail” by its enemies in the United States and elsewhere over the issue.

Farinas said he is seeking the release of 26 ailing political prisoners.

The Cuban government has maintained there are no political prisoners in the country.

BANK INSOLVENCY

Kingston, Jamaica: The government is looking into a bank insolvency law which will define how and in what circumstances a bank can be declared broke.

Finance Minister Audley Shaw said that implementing modern bank insolvency legislation is important to ensuring economic and financial system stability.

“We are certainly going to be looking at promulgating a bank insolvency law in Jamaica,” he said.

Shaw said that laws relating to the Bank of Jamaica and the Financial Services Commission were already being reviewed to strengthen their monitoring roles.

Shaw made his comments at a conference which examined bank insolvency in the Caribbean. Participants included experts, academics and practitioners in the field of bank regulation and supervision, bank insolvency and deposit insurance from several countries.

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